Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: An Open Letter From The Bathroom Floor...

Monday, 25 January 2016

An Open Letter From The Bathroom Floor...

Its 1 am on a Thursday night.

I'm sitting on the cold, hard tile floor of the bathroom. My back against the door. Sobbing.

I'm 36 weeks pregnant.

My 2 year old is asleep in the room next door and my 10 month old is sleeping across the hall. I make a conscious effort to keep my sobs quiet so as not to wake them.

Today I posted on my blog a countdown of my favourite photos from last year...they showed a year full of beautiful memories, newborn cuddles, a house full of laughter and love.

This evening on Instagram I posted a photo of my babies newborn toes taken 10 months ago, and gushed a little about our impending new arrival and how excited we all are to find out if it's a boy or a girl.

To look at my digital footprint, you might think I'm one of those mums who has it all together. Who loves her life. Who always know what she's doing.

Sometimes I'm that mum.

 But usually I'm not.

Tonight I'm a million miles away from that smiling mum in those photographs...tonight I'm sat here in stained pyjamas, with unwashed hair, slouched against the bathroom door...half focused on all the reasons I'm crying and half-distracted by how dirty the toilet looks and adding it to my mental never-ending checklist of things I must remember to do...

I don't really think I can explain to you why I'm I ended up slouched down here tonight, why I'm so upset that I keep almost throwing up from all of the gut-wrenching sobs...I'm not really sure I understand why myself.

But I felt like it was something I should remember...something I should document...because this moment is more real than all of those pretty ones captured forever on film...this moment feels like it's going to impact me...

I know that I feel stressed out. That it all feels too much. That the realities of dealing with the end weeks of a painful pregnancy, managing two very young and active children, and working full time with no prospect of maternity leave because I'm self-employed and I just can't afford it are all becoming just too much to handle.

I know that a recent run of bad luck has got on top of me and left me feeling as though the whole world is out to get me.

I know that I'm back in that dark place again in my mind...where I feel like I'm everybodys victim, and there's nobody there to help...where the voices in my mind tell me I'm not doing enough, I'm not trying enough, nobody cares, nobody likes you...I've been to that dark place before and I know it's hard to get back out once it pulls you in.

I know that all it took tonight was a few too many tasks to complete and a few crossed words spat out in anger between my other half and I...and now here I am.

Feeling like it's falling apart around me.

Feeling like the tears will never stop coming.

Suddenly every problem seems insurmountable, and every bad thing that's happened over the last few weeks has come bubbling to the surface all at once.

I wish I could talk to somebody about it all...I wish I could ask someone for advice, for a shoulder to cry on, to lend a friendly ear...But I can't find the words.

I don't know where to turn to, who to ask...or how to say it.

Tonight I pinned as many articles about pre-natal depression and anxiety as I could find...maybe I'll read them sometime, maybe I won't....but that's not why I pinned them.

I pinned them because it's public. Because I wanted somebody to notice. Because I wanted to let somebody, anybody know that I need a little help...without having to ask.

I want somebody to ask if I'm ok.

I want somebody to notice.

I want somebody to care.

But nobody did.

People have their own lives, their own problems, their own worries....if you want help you have to ask for have to talk to somebody...that's what they all say.. "Just talk to somebody"

But what when there's nobody to talk to?

What when there just isn't a "somebody" to listen?

What when the professionals who are supposed to help you don't?

When you keep being referred to mental health teams who never return your calls, when you're given a number to ring but nobody cares that your social anxieties make the simple task of calling that number too much for you to do...

What when you keep trying to tell people that you're finding it hard but nobody seems to understand how hard?

So I guess I'll just keep sitting here.

And hoping.

And waiting.

Hoping it gets better...Hoping tomorrow feels brighter...Hoping I can muddle through...

And waiting for the brighter days...Waiting until it passes...Waiting until the answers come...

Until then, I guess I'd better go and clean that toilet....

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  1. Couldn't read and not reach out to you. I don't have insight or sage advice but all I will say is be kind to yourself, you've got a hellava lot on in your life and it's bound to build up and tip you over the edge but maybe just allow yourself to be upset, don't fight it, be ok with it on the proviso the next morning you'll take steps to find a way through it. Which you will. Your boys will give you a smile, your husband will say sorry (hopefully!) and your unborn baby will give you a punch in the ribs and it'll be a new day. Not sure if this helps. Just hope it doesn't make you feel worse. X

  2. Aww! Sending you the biggest hugs! I hope things are better for you soon x

  3. I'm so sorry to read you've been feeling this way, you sound like super women and it's ok to feel this way sometimes. I only have one two year old boy on my own 24/7 and I take my hat off to you. I have days where I sob once he's in bed and it feels good to let it all out - Do you have any family that could give you a days break? Sending a hug xx

  4. You can message me anytime Hayley, you know this, you have my number and I text you but you dont reply lol... we have also had that chat ha.... xx

  5. You have it so much harder than me, but I also feel like this and have broken down many more times than I can count. It's getting to almost a year now and things are good and things are bad. Sometimes having faith in God helps - I feel there's something for everyone and once you find that something at least when you break down you'll know one day how to come out of it. Hoping you find that something.

  6. Have just messaged you lovely. Hope you reply soon! xxx

  7. I don't know what to write but I feel I should write something.
    I think January is a hard month. It comes after the joy of Christmas but brings the stresses of a new year and challenges all while being cold, wet and miserable. I call it a mixture of the January blues and the sad syndrome. I've suffered from it and cried for silly reasons but tomorrow will get better and eventually Spring will come and the nights and days wont seem so dark and miserable, sending virtual hugs your way. Xx

  8. Oh Hayley, I wish I lived closer to come round and help in any way I could! Having children is so very hard, but I do believe God only gives us what he knows we can cope with! Please don't feel alone, I know that feeling and it's not nice at all!

    In regards to working when you should be resting, if you need any help, please do message me Hayley! Even if it's just doing what I done for you before! So you and Jon can take some well deserved time off xx

  9. My heart ached reading this post Hayley. I so wish I could come and give you a huge hug and make you a cup of tea. Things will pick up, you will feel better this is probably just a blip. You are exhausted, you are in pain, you are emotionally drained and that's normal, I would feel that way too. Just know that things will pick up, you will feel better and just know that you have so many people who would listen to you rant, rave and scream. I may only be through a computer screen but I class you as a friend. Sending you all my love x

  10. Here anytime lovely. Ready to listen and help. Drop me a Facebook message.I'm always around. Well done for writing this. It means more tha you realise xxx

  11. Wish I were closer lovely. Looking after kids is hard enough and tiring enough without the added pregnancy exhaustion on top.

    Xxx sending love hugs and a good night's sleep xx

  12. Oh Hayley! My heart aches that you're feeling like this. I feel awful that I haven't been on Pinterest lately otherwise I may have seen your pins! Glad that you've posted this though as you're not letting it build up inside, it's good to let things out. Just know that there are a lot of people who care about you. Keep strong it will get easier. If there's anything i can ever do please please do let me know and im always here if you ever want to chat xxxx

  13. Hi Hayley, it breaks my heart that you feel this way. I noticed a few days ago that your blog was inaccessible and Facebook profile had gone and I did wonder what was wrong. Just looking at the comments here, you have so many people who care and would be more than happy to listen to you offload - including me. I don't always know the right thing to say and I'm not great at advice but I always have a ear free to listen xxx

  14. I'm so sorry you're feeling like this. I have a long history of depression, anxiety and social anxiety so I know how debilitating it can all be. So feel free to message me anytime, I'm always here x x

  15. Oh Hayley! This was so sad to read. I just want to give you a huge big hug! I really hope you are ok xxx

  16. Always here for you x I know what you are going through x

  17. I'm so sorry to read this and to hear you are having such a tough time at the moment. Take care of yourself and I hope things improve xx

  18. Did writing it all down help? I hope so. Very very best wishes xx

  19. Oh Hayley I hope you are feeling ok today. I had to cry reading this I know oh so well where you're coming from you are not alone, you may feel it bit truly you are not if you need anything please contact me you have my email I'm sure sending you much love xxx

  20. I felt so sad reading this. You're incredibly brave for sharing this. I really hope you feel better soon xx

  21. Aw Hayley I hate that you are feeling this way. I know how hard it can be having two little ones so close together and how exhausting it can be being pregnant with your third when you have a baby to look after, so you know I am always here if you ever need a chat. Please try and take some time off when you have baby as your blog is so ace that all your readers and contacts will still be here if you do, even if it is just a couple of weeks. Take care lovely and I really hope today has been a better day for you xx

  22. big hugs haley. I know the feeling and hope you are okay. Angela x

  23. I feel so sad reading this its brought tears to my eyes I just want to give you a big hug or wish I lived closer so I could come and help you out. Don't feel alone, you are an amazing woman and have achieved so much and you have a beautiful family to make you smile :) I wish there was more I could do to help you. Sending you a big big hug xxx

  24. Oh I can relate to this post so much, I too have found myself on the bathroom floor crying and not sure how to explain why! I too am pregnant with my third and I think we are at the same stage. If u ever want to chat please feel free to message me. Xx

  25. Oh Hayley I'm so sad you feel like this and I really wish I could give you a hug. You are not alone, I hope you know that! Sending lots of love your way xx

  26. I really couldn't read this and not even acknowledge it. I really hope that they (the health profs!) finally give you some help that you obviously need. This broke my heart and I wish I could help in some way xxx

  27. Oh Hayley I hope u are feeling better today. You are not alone and are such an inspiration.

  28. Big hugs Hayley, you are never alone. As hard as it is right now, remember every day will not be this way. Xxx

  29. Hey, this is such a powerful post, and I hope that you found it as cathartic as I do. This is brave writing. It is really hard to pull off the mask of 'I'm OK'. No wonder you are feeling bone-tired and overwhelmed. Having two under three and another one soon to arrive. I have three kids aged 2,4, and 6 now, but I remember how random and exhausting it all was when they were smaller. First, it is really natural to feel this way when you have so much to get your head around, even when you don't, and cross words can feel like knives in your heart when made at that vulnerable moment. I know that feeling too. I think it is amazing that you took that feeling and used it to reach out. I know that you feel like a victim when everything in your life seems to be looming up at you, but feeling like one does not make you one. Everyone has victim thoughts when they are overwhelmed and in a low state of mind. It feels horrid, I know, and there is always the worry that it means there is something wrong with you. What it actually means is that you are human. I am setting up a support service for mums who are in that place, because I know how much difference a space to talk this stuff without judgement or being given a string of instructions to follow which are not a good fit and leave you feeling more frustrated. I am not saying this to advertise, but because I want you to hear that these feelings are understandable and so very human, and I get that sense of hopelessness too sometimes. Everyone does to some degree. Of course, maternal mood disorders (lovely term!) Are very real, but even healthy functioning during times of extreme adjustment can be a checklist of worries, concerns, aches, and pains. What strikes me as very healthy is that despite your sense of social anxiety and distress you reached out big time. How very wise and courageous to say how you are feeling and express it all. Do feel free to get in touch if you would like to talk. I know it is scary making to get in contact with someone you don't know, even someone you do;) Of course, I may not be the right person for you, but just in case I am, the offer is there. I could not help but write back, because I wanted to respond to your pain, and say, no matter how bad you feel, you have a light inside you and you can glimpse it in your writing, even when you are talking about darkness. Sending you lots of love xxxx ps. Love your blog!tried to post this using WordPress I'd and phone isn't doing its thing! If you ever want to chat reach me at xx

  30. You are so brave for writing, thank you. I spent last crying myself to sleep over a question my husband asked. Being a Mum is the toughest job in the world and you are super strong. I will send hugs from Belgium xx

  31. Phone nhs 24 breathing space make a appt with ure docstraight away sweetie do not let this feeling overburden you ( I have been there and its blooming awful are u carrying a boy? Hormones dip

  32. It's okay no one is that mum all the time. Goodness if I was given a £1 for every cry I've had since having our children then we'd need to remortgage our home. Remember you will come out the other end. Huge hugs xx

  33. I'm so sorry to read about a fellow mum having such a hard time. I don't think there's really anything I can say to make you feel better, but I can tell you that I cry a lot. In fact, today one of my kids broke a glass case while I was out of the room and once I'd removed him from harm's way, checked him over and surveyed the damage to clear up, I actually just stood in the middle of the room and let out a little scream of frustration because I had no idea where to start cleaning up, I was mad at myself for being out of the room when it happened and I was just completely overwhelmed by the whole thing. None of us are Supermum all the time. Hell, I don't think I am ANY of the time. All
    I can really say is this: It's okay to not be okay sometimes.

    Sending love. X

  34. I cried during the reading because you are describing what I feel almost every day. I try to say to my partner that most of the days I am in hell but he doesn't care, nobody really cares.

  35. It is January! I've come to live in fear of it. It deny's you one of depression's greatest weapons, the joy and healing power of nature. Who wants to brave the cold and rain with small children and nothing looks pretty or soothing to the soul. Everyone is busy these days. No one notices those in need. Often times it takes this experience to be the one to notice. This is what is happening to you now. It hurts but you will be the stronger for it and you will become someone who notices. I have 5 children my oldest 2 have left home now and my youngest is 9. All I can tell you is despite experiencing all you talk of I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It is a great shock when they leave. You know it's coming but nothing prepares you for how you'll feel. I've been told that it gets better and they will come back, and I put my faith in those people who notice and reach out to me and tell me. Please put your faith in those like me who tell you it will get better. You are not alone, although it feels like it. Sometimes the simple answers are true. Lack of sleep, lack of light, lack of fun and your seeming invisibility. You are not mad or suffering a disorder of any kind. This is all very natural and one day you will be glad of all you've learned. But no one will look after you, but you. And plan for January next year. See it coming for what it is.

  36. I don't know you but I just wanted to send you hugs from Australia. I was where you are now 10 years ago and it does get easier. You just have to find that strength to get through the difficult times when you're bone tired and exhausted. I still remember that feeling of utter tiredness and sometimes wanting to die from the exhaustion of it all. My kids are older now and things are so much easier and I really enjoy them now. Things WILL get better. Talk to your husband and tell him how you're really feeling. XX

  37. Hi Cleo, speak to someone professional sweetie. No one should feel like they're in hell xxtake xare

  38. Didn't want to read and run - just came across this post now and I feel so bad for you :( it is tough, being a mum, working, feeling anxious, and everything. I hope you get help - it is not right you having you chase up when they should come to you to help! Lots of hugs and strength!

  39. Oh Hayley! Im 38 weeks on Tuesday and my hormones have been all over the place, I too have been thinking about pre-natal depression as I uncontrollably sobbed down the phone to Brad the other day whilst he was at work and sent him into a panic that whole afternoon as he was worried sick about my behaviour. You're kicking ass though mama and you're really not alone! xxx


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